LETTERS 15.7.17

Dredging up the past
I THINK it was about 1941 when a boat from the Middle East came to Fremantle port loaded with onions from Egypt, the reason for this I do not know, probably meant for England but diverted elsewhere because of wartime reasons.
Well, the onions were not allowed to be landed here because of disease, plus also to protect our own growers who would plant onions as the main market garden crops from Wanneroo to Spearwood.
Well they were dumped into the Rottnest Trench, well as we all know onions can float and this is what happened and all the metropolitan beaches were covered with onions, tonnes of them, with everybody helping themselves to free onions which were in good conditions, these onions were said to be good keeping types because of their hardness and near desert-growing conditions, etc.
After some time these onions started to rot and with the rotten onion smell, those close to the beaches suffered, all doors and windows closed, no air conditioning in those days it was hell on earth as the saying goes.
Councils could not help, owing to a lack of manpower, plus funds, etc.
It was not ‘till the winter storms that this invasion of onions were defeated much to the citizens relief.
The mention of Rottnest Trench brings to mind that this was the dumping ground for many ships, such as the sailing ship the Samuel Plimsoll.
At the end of their life they would be towed out to the trench and sunk.
It is the graveyard of wartime planes, vehicles, guns, ammunition, shells, etc which had an expiry date plus a host of other lend lease equipment after the war. When the Byford explosive depot was cleared of all army explosives, these were also dumped in the trench.
This area of Byford is now a housing estate.
Also Tilley and Co were contracted to remove waste from ships in Fremantle Harbour, using a barge towed to the Trench for disposal.
When one considers the number of ships in Fremantle over the years, the waste must have been massive and it’s a wonder the Trench hasn’t filled up or exploded.
If it had done so Rottnest would have been in the firing line.
With the decline in ships staying for only a few days, the waste dumping has dropped off.
This may be the reason why shark numbers have increased along our beaches as the food supply has been slowed out in the trench.
Bob Johnson
Brooklands drive, Henley Brook

You tool
TO the piece(s) of Fremantle detritus that broke into our work vehicle this week for the third and fourth time in less than 12 months.
We hope you get as much use out of our interface probe as we have when remediating contaminated sites.
It’s due for a service soon, so if it starts giving you false readings, you’ll know why.
Also, there’s no need to drill out the locks on our tool boxes and throw bricks through our windows.
The next time you need some remediation and monitoring gear, please drop into our office and ask if you can borrow it.
I’m sure we could work something out.
Bernie Riegler
InSite Remediation Services
High Street, Fremantle 

Keep it up!
I REFER to the article entitled, “Senior’s STI Rates Rocket” ( Herald Health, June 3, 2017).
I must admit that I read the above mentioned article with a mixture of amusement and amazement.
In the first instance, if you can still attract members of the opposite sex at this stage of your life consider it a ‘feather in your cap’.
However, if at that age you still don’t know the importance of ‘safe sex’ then that amazes me.
So keep on having fun but be responsible and careful.
Steve Grady
Murray Road, Palmyra

Heavenly coffee
I FIND it shocking to read all the negativity about our wonderful city we live in.
When I came to Fremantle in 1994 from Germany, I was happy to find a safe and welcoming place.
I still walk to Freo many days and late evenings.
Freo changed since I came.
It’s inevitable.
A city has to move with the times to survive.
I am so thankful to be able to live here and be part of the community.
Compared with the rest of the world Freo is a safe haven with the best coffee ever.
Asanga Steggewentz (78)
Ferres Street, White Gum Valley

Not happy with Jolly
While the Thinking Allowed (“Jolly UnhappyHerald, July 7, 2017) was a jolly good read about family history, it is also wrong in fact and not fair to the diligent City of Fremantle officers who have been coming to South Fremantle precinct meetings at The Local hotel for over a year.
I attended at least three of those meetings and was very impressed with the high turn-out of residents.
At two of the meetings around 75 people took part, while another one had over 100 attending.
These meetings were all about traffic calming in South Fremantle between Douro Road and South Street, because many felt the increasing traffic made it unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists and for residents to turn out of side streets onto South Terrace.
At the last meeting, before the temporary speedhumps were installed, three CoF officers brought with them a large plan of about two metres long, showing where they suggested permanent platforms should be installed and where trees and street furniture should be put to increase the awareness to motorists that it is a residential zone.
Bicycle lanes will also be painted on the road, so it is a work in progress.
Jolly Read, and others on social media, now complain that they were not part of that community consultation process and blame Fremantle city, but only have themselves to blame as the South Fremantle precinct promotes the meetings on their Facebook page.
The meetings addressed the possibility that motorists might use Marine Terrace if they did not like the speedhumps and traffic through side streets such as Jenkin Street was also talked about.
Residents had a real input on where speedhumps should be put. For example speedhumps at Ruccos were considered better if moved near The Local, and that was implemented.
Officers also were very aware that there needed to be free flowing traffic to the inner city traders.
I drive down South Terrace many times a day and the average speed has dropped from around 45kph to only 25 kph speed since the speedhumps were introduced. Jenkin Street is only busier during peak hours, but not many cars come through other times of the day, as I observe daily myself.
The right-turn traffic light at the South Street/Hampton Road intersection suggested by Jolly Read was debated at Fremantle Council many months ago, together with how to improve the intersection of Wray Avenue and Hampton Road, but it was decided not to make the changes at South Street.
The community has an onus to inform themselves. It is not up to the City to doorknock every time there is community consultation about something and the precincts don’t have the manpower to individually contact every resident and business. The City can do the cooking but don’t expect to be hand-fed as well!
The process has been lengthy and thorough and the CoFofficers involved do not deserve the unwarranted criticism. Nothing at government level is ever done ad-hoc or in haste and while the officers were overzealous installing too many humps, that will all be rectified when the permanent platforms are installed.
Roel Loopers

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